Enrique Mallón, Secretary General Asime
The year 2020 has been hard for everyone, we will certainly remember it as one of the great challenges of the last decades.
It has also been a complex year for the industry, as for many other sectors, due to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. The metal industry and its associated technologies have thus witnessed historical drops of 12% in turnover and 2% in employment.
However, despite these negative data, the sector has withstood the impact of the pandemic better than others and continues to be one of the major backbones of the Galician economy, representing 20% of GDP.
Despite the occasional increases in infections that we are experiencing now, which we hope to control soon with everyone’s effort, the horizon of the advance of vaccination and the progressive recovery of confidence makes us look with moderate optimism and enthusiasm at the second half of the year. year 2021. This will undoubtedly be the key moment for the economic recovery to take off. Although irregular depending on the activity, the Atlantic axis industry is expected to close with growth figures this year.
In this context, a solid and firm commitment by everyone in the industrial sector is becoming more necessary than ever, which is a source of economic stability and quality employment and should be a driving force behind the economy of the future in the hub countries. Atlantic.
The challenge of raw materials
This year the industry has gone from having to face a shortage of protective equipment, a reorganization of production and uncertainty derived directly from the health crisis to now living the consequences of a shortage of raw materials and a new world order.
The shortage of raw materials is one of the aspects that most worries the sector, which is facing increases of between 15% and 40%, not only in microchips, but also in aluminum, copper, steels, adhesives, wood or the logistics itself. In this regard, China has been growing in the first quarter of the year and for this it has monopolized many of the resources that were in the market. At the same time, other companies and areas are increasing their activity, so demand is skyrocketing while supply is still rigid. This is leading us to an inflationary process with enormous costs and constant adjustments in companies that we must tackle with, among other measures, a greater commitment to relocate the production of essential components and materials in Europe.
To favor this recovery, however, it is more necessary than ever to offer companies the spaces and tools necessary to make their business visible and favor the closing of new contracts, which have suffered in recent months due to the uncertainty caused for the pandemic.
Mindtech, showcase to show the industrial muscle of the Iberian Pole
In this context in which we risk economic recovery, Mindtech is presented as the ideal showcase to show the muscle of our industry and remind each and everyone of the great ideas and projects that we can carry out.
Metal Industry & Technologies International Trade Fair was born in 2019 as a demand from the sector itself, which demanded a meeting of these characteristics in the context of the Iberian Pole. Two years later, with more than 200 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors in its first edition, Mindtech has established itself in Vigo as the hub of industrial business between Europe, Africa and the Atlantic countries.
The leading firms in the automotive industry, aeronautics, metalworking, renewable energies, metal structures or new technologies, among other activities, will be present in Vigo from September 14 to 16 in the second edition of the fair industrial benchmark in the Iberian Pole.
This year, although exploiting the possibilities of the digital environment that has undoubtedly come to stay, Mindtech will bet on presence, with a physical and safe fair that will return these types of meetings to the sector, essential to reestablish contacts and commercial relationships with a view to closing new contracts.
We have before us an exceptional opportunity to boost the sector at an international level, the showcase to promote exchange and commercial relations that lay the foundations for a solid recovery, which once again shows that the industry is the future and key to economic and social prosperity in a globalized world like the present one.
Cooperation as the key to success
In this context in which we face unprecedented challenges, collaboration will make a difference for our own competitiveness. In this sense, initiatives such as the Atlantic World Network are necessary and appropriate to jointly address the paradigm shift that we have before us. Only by joining forces between companies, civil society, administrations and knowledge centers will we be able to enhance our competitiveness, open new markets and have a positive impact on our economy and our society. The challenge is enormous, but we are prepared.